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Subject:
DIET NEWS
Period: May 15, 2014 to June 1, 2014
Geographies:
Worldwide
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Contents
 

Adding High-Fiber Prunes To Diet Helps With Weight Loss

Adding prunes to a weight loss diet program can help people shed pounds, a British clinical study has found. Scientists tested the impact of prunes for 12 weeks on 100 overweight and obese participants who generally ate a diet low in fiber. Participants either ate prunes every day (140 g for women and 171 g for men), and a control group only given advice on healthy snacking. Those who ate prunes as part of a healthy lifestyle diet lost 2 kg (4.4 lb) and shed 2.5 cm (0.98 in) off their waists, and the prunes were well-tolerated. The people in the control group lost only 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) and 1.7 cm (0.67 in) from their waists.

"Dried Fruit (Prune) Consumption Does Not Undermine Active Weight Management Or Produce Adverse Gastrointestinal Effects", Study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Sofia, Bulgaria (HTPO.017), May 30, 2014

Red Wine Polyphenols Shown Highly Effective At Killing Harmful Oral Bacteria

Swiss and Spanish researchers have determined that the polyphenols in red wine and grape seed extract are effective in getting rid of the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, common problems globally. For the study, the researchers grew cultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as a biofilm. The biofilms were immersed for a few minutes in red wine, red wine without alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12 percent ethanol for comparison. They found that red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at eliminating bacteria. The findings could lead to the development of natural products that prevent dental diseases with fewer side effects.

"Red Wine and Oenological Extracts Display Antimicrobial Effects in an Oral Bacteria Biofilm Model. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 28, 2014

Decline In Preschooler Obesity Tied To Fewer Purchases Of Junk Food

One reason childhood obesity rates have stalled and started to drop in recent years is the fact that parents of preschoolers are buying less junk food and sugary drinks, according to a U.S. study. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that obesity rates among preschoolers (aged two to five) have slid from 12.1 percent to 8.4 percent. To find out why, the researchers analyzed food and beverage purchase data between 2000 and 2011 from 43,000 U.S. households with preschool-age children. They identified the top 20 foods and beverages purchased per capita, finding declines especially in milk, soft drinks, juices and juice drinks, and grain-based desserts, all of which include higher calorie solid fats and added sugars.

"Families with preschoolers buying fewer high calorie foods and beverages", News release, upcoming study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, May 28, 2014

Diet Soda Drinkers Lose More Weight Than Water Dieters – Study

A 12-week clinical study subsidized by the U.S. beverage industry finds that drinking diet sodas helps people lose weight. The researchers, two of whom are paid consultants of the Coca-Cola Company, said that those who drank diet beverages during the study “lost more weight and reported feeling significantly less hungry” than participants who drank only water. The study among 303 people showed that people who drank diet sodas lost an average of 13 pounds – 44 percent more than the control group, which lost an average of nine pounds. Sixty-four percent of the diet soda group lost at least five percent of their body weight, compared with only 43 percent of the control group. Both diet soda and water groups saw reductions in waist circumference and blood pressure.

"The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12-week weight loss treatment program. ", Obesity, May 27, 2014

Vegan Version Of Atkins Diet Helps Drop Pounds, Reduce Heart Disease Risk

The so-called “Eco-Atkins” diet – low carb and vegan – not only helps dieters shed pounds, it also helps lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk, according to a Canadian study. Twenty-three obese men and women completed the six-month diet, in which participants ate only 60 percent of daily weight-maintenance calories, but were allowed to select their own menus, either Eco-Atkins or high carb/low fat. Eco-Atkins participants consumed 26 percent of calories from carbs, 31 percent from proteins and 43 percent from fat, primarily from vegetable oils, avocado, nuts and soy products. Over six months, participants on the Eco-Atkins diet experienced a 10 percent drop in cholesterol and lost an average of four more pounds than the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

"Effect of a 6-month vegan low-carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) diet on cardiovascular risk factors and body weight in hyperlipidaemic adults: a randomised controlled trial. ", BMJ Open, May 22, 2014

Study Shows How A Mediterranean Diet Reduces Blood Pressure

British scientists explain in a study in mice why the Mediterranean diet has been associated in earlier research with reductions in hypertension. The diet is rich in unsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts and avocados, and in nitrates and nitrites from spinach, celery and carrots. Combining unsaturated fatty acids and nitrogen compounds creates nitro fatty acids, which inhibit an enzyme known as epoxide hyrdrolase that in turn lowers blood pressure.

"Protection from hypertension in mice by the Mediterranean diet is mediated by nitro fatty acid inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase. ", PNAS, May 19, 2014

New Peanut Flour May Be Better Suited To Desensitizing People To Peanuts

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a modified peanut flour that could be used to safely desensitize people who are allergic to peanuts. The new flour contains allergens called epitopes, as well as natural edible fruit polyphenols, and could replace the peanut flour currently used to desensitize people to dangerous peanut allergies, because the flour is itself dangerous, producing severe side effects. Polyphenols in the newly developed flour alter the epitopes so that they do not trigger an allergic response in the patient. But they still cause enough of an immune system reaction to slowly desensitize the person to peanuts. The researchers said the flour could also be adapted to treat other kinds of food allergens.

"New Type of Flour Could Help Desensitize Kids to Food Allergies", Healthline, May 16, 2014

Meta-Analysis Shows That Sugar Contributes To Risk Factors For Heart Disease

New Zealand researchers who analyzed nearly 50 years of clinical study data from around the world  found that sugars contribute to cardiovascular risk, no matter what a person’s weight is. Data from 49 studies were collected and pooled for analysis. The researchers acknowledged that the effects of sugars on blood pressure and lipids were “relatively modest”, but stressed that the findings support public health recommendations to reduce added sugar in diets. They suggested that the human body somehow handles sugar metabolism differently from other carbohydrates.

"Dietary sugars and cardiometabolic risk: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effects on blood pressure and lipids. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 15, 2014

Study Rules Out Resveratrol As Reason For Red Wine’s Heart-Protective Benefit

A 15-year U.S. study of people in Italy whose diet includes regular intake of resveratrol found that the compound is not associated with an extended lifespan or reduced risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer. For many years now resveratrol has been touted as a sort of miracle nutrient because cultures that drink red wine, which contains significant amounts of resveratrol, seem to live longer and have less heart disease. The researchers, however, could find no evidence  that resveratrol was the reason. They acknowledged that drinking red wine, eating chocolate and berries is associated with reduced risk of heart problems. But some other ingredient, so far unknown, is probably providing the protective benefit.

"Resveratrol Levels and All-Cause Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Adults. ", JAMA Internal Medicine, May 12, 2014

Study: No Connection Between Calcium Supplements And Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Contrary to earlier published studies, there’s no connection between cardiovascular disease in women and calcium supplements taken to maintain bone health, according to a U.S. study. The researchers analyzed data collected from a cohort study involving more than 74,000 women who were followed for 24 years. During that time, there were 2,709 heart attacks and 1,856 strokes. Women who took more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium supplements compared with none, the risk for coronary heart disease and for stroke was about the same as for non-smokers, women without hypertension, and women who had regular physical exams. The researchers concluded that their findings “do not support the hypothesis that calcium supplement intake increases cardiovascular disease risk in women”.

"Calcium supplement intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in women. ", Osteoporosis International, May 09, 2014

Low-Carb Diet More Beneficial To Type 2 Diabetics

A two-year Swedish study of the impact of reducing dietary carbs or fat on type 2 diabetics has found that the low-carb diet had the more positive effect. The clinical trial involving 61 patients who ate either a low-fat or low-carb diet found that only the patients whose diet was low in carbohydrates saw reduced levels of inflammation. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight. Patients with type 2 diabetes experience higher levels of inflammation which is believed to contribute to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and other complications.

"Advice to follow a low-carbohydrate diet has a favourable impact on low-grade inflammation in type 2 diabetes compared with advice to follow a low-fat diet. ", Annals of Medicine, May 08, 2014

 
Products & Brands  

Granola Churns The Breakfast Market In Japan

The traditional Japanese breakfast is gradually disappearing, due mostly to the time constraints of the modern lifestyle. Lengthy preparation of miso soup, salmon filets, pickled vegetables, etc., is being replaced by breakfast cereals, especially granola, which Japanese adults do not associate with kids’ sugary ready-to-eat-cereals. Key evidence of the trend: shipment value of granola increased 55.3 percent from 2012 to $143 million in 2013. Sales of granola, introduced in Japan in the 1990s, stagnated for years until snack manufacturer Calbee changed the brand name to Calbee Frugra, marketing it with free sample giveaways. Exposure increased on social media, a cookbook was added, and positive health publicity boosted granola’s image. “As granola in Japan demonstrates, the opportunity to shake up the breakfast market is there,” according to Datamonitor.

"Can Japan's granola boom spark a breakfast revolution in Asia?", Report, Datamonitor, May 23, 2014

Food Industry Sees Benefits Of Including Prebiotic Fiber In New Products

Consumers and food manufacturers are increasingly aware of the role of dietary fiber in weight maintenance and weight loss. Fiber’s value in a weight loss program is based on a simple fact: it provides appetite-reducing bulk without the calories. The spotlight now is on prebiotic fibers such as oligofructose-enriched inulin and oligofructose that can be used in foods to reduce calorie intake and help people manage blood sugar levels. One clinical study involving overweight and obese adults demonstrated that intake of food enriched with oligofructose at a level of 12 grams/day over three weeks significantly reduced caloric intake. With results like that in mind, it’s not surprising that food manufacturers are including oligofructose-enriched inulin and oligofructose in new product plans.

"Prebiotic Fibers Offer New Opportunities for Weight Management", Nutraceuticals World, May 13, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Calling Dietary Supplements Worthless Is “Irresponsible”, Scientists Argue

Scientists at Oregon State University say the case against vitamin and mineral supplements is far from “closed” as some researchers declared recently. Last December scientists published three separate studies that said most vitamin and mineral diet supplements have “no clear benefit and may even be harmful” to well-nourished adults. The OSU researchers, however, said many types of dietary supplements fill nutritional gaps, improve general health, may help prevent chronic disease, are not harmful and are very cheap. They agreed that a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables offers the greatest health benefit, but the diet of many Americans is heavy on calories and light on nutrients. The OSU researchers and colleagues called it “irresponsible to ignore decades of nutrition research” on the benefits of dietary supplements.

"Enough Is Enough. ", Annals of Internal Medicine, June 02, 2014

Study Finds That Eating White Bread Increases Risk Of Weight Gain, Obesity

The controversy over the healthfulness of white bread continues. A new as-yet-unpublished Spanish study that tracked the dietary habits of 9,000 college graduates over five years find that those who ate only white bread, especially two or more portions a day, were 40 percent more likely to become overweight or obese than those who ate less. People who ate both white and whole grain breads, however, were not at risk for weight gain. The researchers found no significant connection between whole grain bread consumption and weight gain, probably “because of the types of carbohydrates, fiber content and other ingredients in whole grain bread”.

"Could White Bread Be Making You Fat?", Philly.com/HealthDay News, May 30, 2014

Mix Up The Exercise Regimen For Optimum Health Benefits

A U.S. study finds that more exercise is not really as good for you as more types of exercise. Performing a single type of workout – just running, just cycling, etc. – is less effective for fitness and weight loss than following a regimen of resistance exercises, interval sprints, pilates or yoga stretching, and endurance exercise. The study involved 36 females and 21 males aged 35 to 57 who were obese or overweight -- basically out of shape. For 16 weeks three randomly assigned groups ate the same amount of whey protein daily, but exercised differently: some were sedentary, some did resistance training, and some did multidimensional activities. The researchers found that multidimensional exercisers showed the greatest health improvements, including weight loss, abdominal fat loss and lower blood pressure.

"Timed-daily Ingestion of Whey Protein and Exercise Training Reduces Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass and Improves Insulin Resistance: The PRISE Study. ", Journal of Applied Physiology, May 30, 2014

Scientists Show How One Form Of Vitamin E Is Actually Bad For You

Increased consumption of vitamin E-rich cooking oils – canola, soybean and corn – could be the culprit in the rising incidence of asthma, U.S. researchers report. Trouble is, it's the wrong kind of vitamin E. Depending on its chemical formula, vitamin E has significantly different effects on health. Gamma-tocopherol, found in corn, soy and canola oils, is linked with poor human lung function. But the alpha-tocopherol form found in olive and sunflower oils is linked to improved lung function. The study looked at lung function and vitamin E data gathered at intervals from 4,526 people over 20 years. A high level of gamma-tocoperol in the blood plasma was associated with a 10 to 17 percent reduction in lung function.

"The vitamin E isoforms α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol have opposite associations with spirometric parameters: the CARDIA study ", Respiratory Research, May 20, 2014

Weight Loss At Any Age Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease

A British study has taken a long-term look at the impact of weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors, including carotid artery wall thickness and systolic blood pressure. Men and women (normal, overweight and obese) were followed from birth in 1946, and checked at ages 36, 43, 53 and 60-64. The researchers found that losing weight at any age can result in enduring cardiovascular health benefits. The findings support public health strategies and lifestyle modifications that will help overweight and obese people lose weight, no matter what their age. In fact, adults who drop a BMI category – from obese to overweight, or overweight to normal – at any age reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

"Lifelong patterns of BMI and cardiovascular phenotype in individuals aged 60–64 years in the 1946 British birth cohort study: an epidemiological study. ", The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, May 20, 2014

Beneficial For Type 2 Diabetics: Wholegrain Rye Bread, Sourdough Wheat Bread

Eating whole grain rye and sourdough-fermented wheat bread lowers blood sugar and insulin response after meals, effectively reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, a Finnish doctoral thesis confirms. The researcher said natural fiber of the breads, with its indigestible carbs and bioactive compounds, impact glucose metabolism in healthy people and people with metabolic syndrome, a precursor of type 2 diabetes. Everything works synergetically in glucose metabolism, Jenni Lappi shows: intestinal microbes, short chain fatty acids produced by fermenting grain fiber, and metabolites of phenolic acids contained in grain fiber.

"Wholegrain bread reduces risk of diabetes: study", Xinhua News (China), May 16, 2014

Weight, Blood Sugar Are Better Controlled When Type 2 Diabetics Eat Fewer, Larger Meals

Some nutritionists and healthcare professionals have urged type 2 diabetics to eat six small meals during the day to help control weight and blood sugar. But a new study by scientists in the Czech Republic finds that eating two large meals a day. Fifty-four men and women aged 30 to 70 being treated with oral diabetes drugs followed either of two restricted-calorie diet regimens (two large meals or six small meals a day) for 12 weeks, then switched regimens for 12 weeks. The researchers measured various biomarkers, including fasting blood sugar, found that type 2 diabetics on a calorie-restricted diet benefited from eating larger breakfasts and lunches rather than six smaller meals during the day.

"Eating two larger meals a day (breakfast and lunch) is more effective than six smaller meals in a reduced-energy regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover study. ", Diabetologia, May 15, 2014

Eating Fruits, Vegetables Reduces Risk Of Stroke In Men And Women Of All Ages

A meta-analysis of 20 studies conducted around the world over two decades demonstrates that the risk of stroke can be reduced significantly by eating fruits and vegetables every day. The clinical studies, which included more than 760,000 men and women who had 16,981 strokes, showed a 32 percent decrease in stroke risk for every 200 grams of fruit eaten, and an 11 percent reduced risk for every 200 grams of vegetables. The Chinese researchers said the beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables applied equally to men and women, to type of stroke (clot or bleeding), and to all ages (younger or older than 55).

"Fruits and Vegetables Consumption and Risk of Stroke: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. ", Stroke, May 08, 2014

Trends  

Countries Worldwide Have Failed To Come To Grips With The Obesity Epidemic

Global obesity is on the rise, and countries are failing to effectively intervene in the problem, according to a U.S. analysis of trend data from 188 countries. In fact, not one country has reported success in combating obesity in the past 33 years. More than 2 billion people – or about 30 percent of the world’s population – are either obese or overweight. Study authors said the rise in global obesity rates over the last three decades is a major public health epidemic in both the developed and the developing world. The highest proportion of obese people (13 percent) live in the United States, while China and India together represent 15 percent of the obese population.

"Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013", The Lancet, May 31, 2014

Schools Ban Unhealthy Treats In Fight Against Obesity

The healthful eating movement in schools, energized by the advocacy of Michele Obama and the regulatory activities of the USDA, has its grassroots dimension as well. Nationwide, schools are banning high-calorie, low-nutrition foods -- e.g., birthday cupcakes -- from classrooms and fundraising events. A recent initiative in a Georgia elementary school is a prime example. The principal explained to parents a new policy banning food treats at the two designated classroom parties held each semester. The ban on food treats is to protect the “increasing number of students with food allergies”, but also to encourage more healthful eating. Georgia’s schoolchildren are among the fattest in the country: nearly 37 percent are too heavy, putting the state in 12th place.

"DeKalb school banishes birthday cupcakes. Have a pencil instead", Ajc.com, May 23, 2014

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